Australian Institute of Criminology

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Weapon involvement in armed robbery

Research and public policy series no. 38

Jenny Mouzos and Carlos Carcach
ISBN 0 642 24245 3 ISSN 1326-6004
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, June 2001


This analysis of 16,235 records relating to armed robbery in Australia between 1996 and 1998 finds that there were no differences in the type of weapon used by an offender of armed robbery based on the type of victim selected, whether an individual or anorganisation; generally, knives were used most often to commit armed robbery, although when the target was a bank, credit union or building society a firearm was more frequently used; and there were no differences in the type of weapon used according to gender and age of offenders. The report also makes a number of suggestions to improve our knowledge of armed robbery, including the redirection of our research focus from firearms towards examining the increasing use of "other weapons" to commit armed robbery; the need for in depth research into the complex reasons associated with increases in the use of "other weapons"; and a concerted effort towards improvements in data quality and breadth of information collected.